Showing posts with label Police (the). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Police (the). Show all posts

Saturday, 4 May 2019

De do do do de da da da - The Police

The Police recorded their nonsensical 1980 single 'De do do do de da da da' in two languages other than English: in Japanese and Spanish. It's not easy to find a good copy of this single in mint condition, so I was rather stunned to find one in the centre of Den Haag during today's record fair.

Unusually for an American 7" single this copy has a small centre hole. And it has to be said, hearing Sting sing in Japanese is an interesting experience, although Japanese readers of this blog would have to say whether his pronounciation is good enough. I would also venture that the Japanese version is better than the Spanish one.

My collection: 7" single no.  6059
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 4, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'De do do do de da da da (Japanese)' / 'De do do do de da da da (Spanish)'

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Don't stand so close to me '86 - The Police

For a long time, this 1986 re-recording of 'Don't stand so close to me' was in the history books as the only reunion of the British band The Police and it is still their most recent studio recording. Produced by Laurie Latham, this version is very different from the 1980 original.

This 12" single brings together four versions of the track: the original version, the 1986 version, a dance mix of that 1986 version and a live version of unknown origin. Amazingly, a cd version of this disc also exists: a CD-Video was released in the UK, featuring all four tracks plus the music video for this 1986 version.

My collection: 12" single no. 38
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, 1986
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'Don't stand so close to me '86 (dance mix)', 'Don't stand so close to me '86' / 'Don't stand so close to me (original version)', 'Don't stand so close to me (live)'

Monday, 15 March 2010

King of pain - The Police

'King of pain' was released as the second single from the Police's 1983 album 'Synchronicity' in the USA and the fourth single in the UK. It was the only single from that album that didn't have an accompanying music video.

Despite this, the single reached number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 17 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 1415
Found: Record fair, April 7, 1991
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'King of pain' / 'Once upon a daydream'

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Invisible sun - The Police

'Invisible sun' was written by Sting about the tensions in Northern Ireland. The song is a departure from Police songs before it; it contains a dark, looping synthesizer beat, and powerful, haunting lyrics. Among other things, the lyrics refer to the ArmaLite rifle used by paramilitary organizations, but mainly by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

It was the first single taken from the 1982 Police album 'Ghost in the machine' and it reached number 2 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 458
Found: Oldies Unlimited, received 1986
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Invisible sun' / 'Shambelle'

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Synchronicity II - The Police

Personally, I think the best Police track is 'Synchronicity II', as it displays an amount of aggression that is not equalled in any other piece of music I know. The title refers to Carl Jung's theory of Synchronicity. It tells the story of an emasculated husband and harried father whose home, work life, and environment are terrible and depressing. One of the best lines in the track is 'every single meeting with his so-called superior/is a humiliating kick in the crotch', as the visual image underlines the music so well.

According to Sting: 'Jung believed there was a large pattern to life, that it wasn't just chaos. Our song 'Synchronicity II' is about two parallel events that aren't connected logically or causally, but symbolically.'

I have two copies of this single: the regular UK single featuring the B-side 'Once upon a daydream', and a Brazilian copy, which features the earlier single 'Wrapped around your finger' on the B-side. 'Synchronicity II' reached number 17 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 1166 / no. 3247
Found: Record fair, 1990 / London, October 20, 2000
Cost: 5 guilders / 1 pound
Tracks (no. 1166): 'Synchronicity II' / 'Wrapped around your finger'
Tracks (no. 3247): 'Synchronicity II' / 'Once upon a daydream'

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Wrapped around your finger - The Police

The Police created an impressive music video for 'Wrapped around your finger'. They performed the song in a candle-lit room, interspersed with scenes of Sting running among several tall candlesticks carefully arranged in a sort of maze. The video suited the song very well.

'Wrapped around your finger' is a tale of an apprentice who seeks esoteric wisdom under the tutelage of an erotic teacher, eventually superseding the mentor to become the master. Like other Police songs from this period, it features mythological and literary references, notably to the Scylla and Charybdis monsters of Greek mythology, and the German legend of Faust. The single reached number 7 in the UK singles chart, number 8 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 17 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 495
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Wrapped around your finger' / 'Someone to talk to'

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Walking on the moon - The Police

According to Sting, 'Walking on the moon' is about the feeling of being in love. He wrote the song when he: 'was drunk in a hotel room in Munich, slumped on the bed with the whirling pit when this riff came into my head. I got up and starting walking round the room singing: 'Walking round the room, walking round the room'. That was all. In the cool light of morning I remembered what had happened and I wrote the riff down. But 'Walking round the room' was a stupid title so I thought of something even more stupid which was 'Walking on the moon'.'

Released in November 1979, 'Walking on the moon' was a number 1 hit in the UK singles chart, while it also peaked at number 9 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 2 in France.

My collection: 7" single no. 4478
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 30, 2010
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Walking on the moon' / 'Visions of the night'

Monday, 25 January 2010

Every breath you take - The Police

Sting commented about 'Every breath you take': 'I woke up in the middle of the night with that line in my head, sat down at the piano and had written it in half an hour. The tune itself is generic, an aggregate of hundreds of others, but the words are interesting. It sounds like a comforting love song. I didn't realise at the time how sinister it is. I think I was thinking of Big Brother, surveillance and control.'

Sting later said he was troubled by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it's about unrequited love (the song was written at the time he and his then wife divorced), about the obsession with the lost lover, the jealousy and surveillance that followed. It went on to become the Police's signature tune. As of 2003, Sting was still taking in an average of $2000 per day in royalties. In October 2007, Sting was awarded a Million-Air certificate for 9 million airplays of 'Every breath you take' in the United Kingdom.

My collection: 7" single no. 763
Found: Den Haag, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Every breath you take' / 'Murder by numbers'

Friday, 22 January 2010

De do do do de da da da - The Police

According to Sting, The Police's 'De do do do de da da da' is about the attraction people have towards simple songs: 'I was trying to make an intellectual point about how the simple can be so powerful. Why are our favourite songs 'Da doo ron ron' and 'Do wah diddy diddy'? In the song, I tried to address that issue. But everyone said, 'This is bullshit, child's play.' No one listened to the lyrics. Listen to the lyrics. I'm going to remake it again and put more emphasis on what I was talking about.'

The song was actually re-recorded in 1986, when the Police also made a re-recording of 'Don't stand so close to me'. It was dropped from the album 'Every breath you take: the singles', but finally saw a release in 1995 on a re-release of this album.

My collection: 7" single no. 3091
Found: Record Exchange, London, May 12, 1999
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'De do do do de da da da' / 'A sermon'

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Spirits in the material world - The Police

'Spirits in the material world' was the first track on the Police's 1981 album 'Ghost in the machine'. It has a Jamaican Ska beat which changes to a swaggering rock beat in the chorus.

It was released in November 1981 as the third single from the album. It reached number 12 in the UK singles chart and number 6 in the Dutch Top 40. In the UK, a limited edition of the single was released with a poster sleeve. The poster features a new photograph of the band taken from their official 1982 calendar.

My collection: 7" single no. 3092
Found: London, 1999
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Spirits in the material world' / 'Low life'

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Don't stand so close to me - The Police

Sting, lead singer of the Police, was an English teacher before he found fame with his band. 'Don't stand so close to me', with its lyric dealing with the mixed feelings of a teacher (lust/guilt/fear), and inappropriateness leading to confrontation, caused some speculation on whether the song was actually autobiographical. Sting denied this in 2001 when he promoted the concert dvd 'All this time'.

The single was released in 1980. It gave the band their first hit in the USA, as it reached number 11 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the UK, it was a number 1 hit, while in the Dutch Top 40 it reached number 3. The single I have is part of a limited edition with a poster sleeve.

My collection: 7" single no. 1219
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, April 22, 1990
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Don't stand so close to me' / 'Friends'

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Message in a bottle - The Police

'Message in a bottle' was released as a single from the Police's second album 'Reggatta de Blanc'. The single was The Police's first number 1 hit in the UK singles chart, peaking at number 2 in the Dutch Top 40 and only reaching number 74 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Police frontman Sting has stated later that this is his favourite song.

The Police reformed at Live Earth, a 2007 charity concert to raise awareness of global warming and other environmental hazards and performed 'Message in a bottle' as the US finale. Unfortunately Kanye West was mumbling through this track as well at the time. This 7" single was pressed on green vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 3261
Found: Record Exchange, London, 2002
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Message in a bottle' / 'Landlord'

Sunday, 1 November 2009

So lonely - The Police

'So lonely' was originally released as a single from the album 'Outlandos d'Amour' in November 1978. The single did not chart at first, but when it was re-released in February 1980 it reached number 6 in the UK and number 31 in the Dutch Top 40.

According to Sting, 'Let's be honest here, 'So lonely' was unabashedly culled from 'No woman no cry' by Bob Marley. Same chorus. What we invented was this thing of going back and forth between thrash punk and reggae. That was the little niche we created for ourselves.'

My collection: 7" single no. 1014
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 17, 1989
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'So lonely' / 'No time this time'

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Roxanne - The Police

The Police's lead singer Sting wrote 'Roxanne', inspired by the prostitutes he saw near the band's seedy hotel while in Paris, France in October 1977 to perform at the Nashville Club. The title of the song comes from the name of the character in the play Cyrano de Bergerac, an old poster of which was hanging in the hotel foyer.

During recording of the song, Sting accidentally sat down on a piano keyboard in the studio, resulting in the atonal piano chord and laughter at the beginning of the track. The Police were initially diffident about the song, but eventually it got hem their first record deal. At its first release in April 1978 the single did not chart, but when it was re-released exactly a year later, in April 1979 it reached number 12 in the UK singles chart, number 32 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 21 in the Dutch Top 40. This copy of the single was pressed on blue vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 3260
Found: London, 2001
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Roxanne' / 'Peanuts'

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The bed's too big without you - The Police

Sold separately in a second hand shop in London, this single is actually part of a six disc collection called 'Six Pack'. This pack, which came in a pvc folder containing the first five hit singles by the Police ('Roxanne', 'Can't stand losing you', 'So lonely', 'Message in a bottle' and 'Walking on the moon') plus this single.

'The bed's too big without you' appeared on the second album by the Police, 'Reggatta de Blanc' (1979). This single included a previously unreleased mono version and a live track, pressed on blue vinyl.

My collection: 7" single no. 2188
Found: Record Exchange, London, September 29, 1994
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'The bed's too big without you (mono version)' / 'Truth hits everybody (live in Boston)'

Monday, 13 April 2009

Don't stand so close to me '86 - The Police

When the Police released the compilation 'Every breath you take' in 1986, I got the cassette and played it a lot. I liked the '86 version of 'Don't stand so close to me' and even preferred it to the less polished original, but didn't buy the single until I found it as a bargain in 1990. In the mean time, the cassette was enough for me.

The Police recorded 'Don't stand so close to me '86' during a rather tense session in the studio. Because drummer Stewart Copeland broke his collarbone, he was unable to play the drums. He used his Fairlight CMI to program the drum track for this track, while lead singer Sting pushed to utilize the drums on his Synclavier instead. Copeland was later quoted as saying that the argument over Synclavier versus Fairlight drums was 'the straw that broke the camel's back', and led to the group's unraveling.

My collection: 7" single no. 1245
Found: Free Record Shop, Den Haag, June 14, 1990
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Don't stand so close to me '86' / 'Don't stand so close to me (live)'

Friday, 2 January 2009

Can't stand losing you - The Police

The Police's 1978 single 'Can't stand losing you' was banned by the BBC in the UK because of the sleeve pictured here. According to Sting, in an interview in the magazine Revolver: 'The reason they had a problem with 'Can't Stand Losing You' was because the photo on the cover of the single had Stewart standing on a block of ice with a noose around his neck, waiting for the ice to melt'. The single was released on blue vinyl. I thought it was more attractive to own this single than the later version with an alternate cover, and so I bought it.

My collection: 7" single no. 3019
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 5, 1998
Cost: 15 guilders
Tracks: 'Can't stand losing you' / 'Dead end job'

Friday, 28 November 2008

Too depressed to commit suicide - PeeCees

It's not blatantly obvious, but when you read a song title like 'Too depressed to commit suicide', you have to assume it's not a serious song. When you look at the sleeve and instantly recognise an album cover from The Police, you have to conclude that this is definitely a parody. And not only that: this 'triple A side' also features songs by Jack Michaelson and the HeeBeeGeeBees.

My decision was made pretty fast: I had to buy this single at last week's record fair, if only to satisfy my curiosity. It was released in 1981, at the height of the success of the Police, Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees. It's pretty amazing when you hear the tracks and how similar they sound to the original artists' work. Even more amazing when you find out that one of the three in this group is Angus Deayton. I never knew he had singing ambitions...

My collection: 7" single no. 3462
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 22, 2008
Cost: 1,25 euro
Tracks: 'Too depressed to commit suicide' - The PeeCees / 'Up the wall' - Jack Michaelson, 'Meaningless songs' - HeeBeeGeeBees
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